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Purdue extra motivated after Fairleigh Dickinson’s viral speech

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WISH) — The No. 1-seed Purdue Boilermakers have arrived in Columbus. The Boilers are getting ready to play Fairleigh Dickinson Friday night in the First Round.

The NCAA Tournament officially began for the Boilers Thursday as they got on the court at Nationwide Arena for some practice. But the madness of March began Wednesday night.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s head coach Tobin Anderson had some strong words about Purdue, saying he’s watched the Boilers film and his Knights can beat them. The video went viral. That comment didn’t sit well with the Boilers.   

“We went and watched film today and then they showed it after film just to fuel us up again,” Boilers guard David Jenkins Jr. said. “You know, [Coach Matt Painter] told us, it was disrespectful. We all just took it as disrespectful. We’re going to go into that game ready to play trust me. And that’s fuel to our fire. We’re not going to throw no disrespect towards them because we respect them. They’re a good team obviously because they’re here. We’re definitely going to be ready to go.”

“Obviously, they’ve got confidence in themselves,” Purdue freshman guard Braden Smith said. “They’re in this tournament for a reason so, like I said, it’s just people being confident in themselves so that’s good for them. Step on the floor and we’re play them.”

Anderson addressed the comments in Columbus Thursday, saying he now wishes Purdue hadn’t seen the video.

“I don’t think Purdue needs any extra motivation from the standpoint, that they lost last year to Saint Peter’s in the NCAA Tournament. They’re trying to win a national championship. I don’t think they need any extra motivation. But I probably gave them a little bit right there,” Anderson said. “But that will crank us up a little bit. We’ll be more on edge because of that. I told the guys, I’m sorry about that, fellas. We’ll have to back it up. We have to play well because I said that.”

Purdue and Fairleigh Dickinson have played only one other time in history — 35 years ago to the day Friday. The Boilers beat the Knights, 94-79, in the 1988 NCAA Tournament’s First Round. The Boilers scored the sixth most points in program history in an NCAA tournament game that day. Purdue is hoping history repeats itself this year.